My husband and I went up to Joshua Tree to take advantage of the light traffic on Superbowl Sunday coming back, and we dined here here last night. Decided to take a chance even though when we arrived there was not one other customer in the place. By the time we left it was very busy, but there was still not a wait for a table. I did not have the opportunity to talk long to the Italian born owner, who came to our table a couple times to check on us, but when I raved about the antipasta he was very pleased and told me that they make every item on the antipasta plate daily with all fresh ingredients.
Some of you may know that rt 62 is a long stretch of high desert highway with a lot of fast food and tourist joints, antique shops, and businesses that have gone under.
I am trying to remember the list of items that came on this large plate with small servings of goodies -- that was I think $8.75 (!) -- nothing was too salty, overspiced, or vinegar and oil marinated out of a jar product, and my husband and I agreed as we were driving back down the 62 towards Palm Sprints after a great hike that we would be completely happy to have that again tonight, 2 days in a row, and that we would probably frequent this place a lot if we were lucky to have it in our neighborhood.
Please note there were no cured meats or cheeses, so if you were looking for salami or even canned black sliced olives, this is not it, it's for people that love vegetables.
chopped red cabbage with a very slight bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.
lightly grilled zucchini, even less olive oil, just tender
cold Italian style potato salad, mild, tender
mild and very tasty artichoke hearts, very slight amount of olive oil, no vinegar or salt
green and red bell pepper with onions, grilled, lightly flavored with a little olive oil, and a tiny dash of sugar
translucent grilled onions, very slight amount of olive oil
carrot salad, this was very nice, a tad rich and a bit sweet
a few pieces of grilled broccoli
I realized after we started eating that I should have taken a picture!
We ordered the first special, there were 5 specials, and that was in addition to an extensive menu of antipasta and salads (like the one I mentioned in detail above, along with Caesar, Italian salad with lettuce, tomatoes and tuna, calabrese (tomato/cheese), proscuitto and melon, house), 3 soups, appetizers, pastas, veal including saltimbocca and osso bucca, chicken, and seafood. The special was a seafood combo (salmon, halibut, and lobster) in a lemony pink sauce with a finely chopped mirepoix as its base, and was served with a side salad or soup, small serving of vegetables (again all fresh), and thankfully not a huge pile of pasta, but a small serving of penne with a nice tomato onion sauce. It was $18.
I ordered a half liter of the house chianti, it was $12, and it was a good choice also.